How we talk about things influences how we perceive them, such as talking about hearing “loss.” In the same way, how we think about hearing loss can influence how it affects us. Being mindful about my hearing and how I talk about it has taught me many good things.
The focus on hearing loss has always been on the impairment, the “dis”-ability. Certainly from one perspective that’s exactly what we have. A loss. But you could read your audiogram another way and see the amount of hearing “ability” you may still have even after a loss.
With so many advances in the past several years, 2016 may be a good time to start focusing on our actual experience of “hearing” – what I will call our “ability” to hear – and not just on our loss as measured by an audiogram.
This thought hit home for me very recently when I started to perform music again after 34 years. I was encouraged by a musician colleague to read new research about the brain’s “neuro-plasticity” and what it might mean for me and my musical aspirations. I also started aural rehabilitation and I resumed vocal training that I had discontinued three decades before.
During the past two years, through much repetition and practice, I felt that I was experiencing changes in my hearing that were definitely improvements and enhancements – even though my audiogram didn’t budge.
So what was going on? Continue reading “How mindfulness can help enhance your hearing experience”